It’s important to know this to understand how you can avoid gaining weight after you quit smoking. In this article, we’ll describe 4 powerful ways that you can ensure you keep the extra pounds off after throwing out your cigarettes.
It’s bad enough that you’ll endure the continuous cravings for food. But, you can limit the weight gain by getting rid of the junk food in your diet. Foods that are high in saturated fat such as fast foods or deep-fried foods should be off of your menu. Ice cream, potato chips and other indulgences should also be removed. Simple sugars like candy can do a number on your weight, so avoid using them as comfort food.
This is a great time to start eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Hey you’re getting healthy by quitting, why keep up the good work? When your blood sugar is low and you want something to eat, snack on apples, bananas and carrots. Add almonds to your diet. These foods have 2 primary benefits. First, they’ll deliver the nutrients to your bloodstream that your body sorely needs. Second, these types of foods tend to have a high fiber content. Consuming them will help your body eliminate excess waste material and lower your body’s toxicity.
Cigarette smoke inhibits your metabolism. When you stop smoking, your metabolism remains slow. This can prevent your body from digesting food as quickly as it should. It’s up to you to give your metabolism the jumpstart it needs. The only way to do this is by getting some exercise. Because long-term smoking will likely have made intense physical activity difficult, start small. Take a 20-minute walk each day. After a couple of weeks, begin including cardiovascular exercises. Eventually, you’ll increase your metabolic rate which will help keep the extra pounds off.
Nothing happens without a plan. Write down the steps you need to take to avoid gaining weight after you stop smoking. Having the action items written down in front of you is a powerful reminder of what you need to do to reach your goal. Once you write the steps down, introduce them slowly. For example, gradually eliminate specific junk foods each week. Add a few fruits and vegetables to your diet each week. Begin with light exercise and slowly build to include more intense routines. Most people are able to maintain new habits if they adopt them slowly. The same is true for the habits you need to form in order to avoid gaining weight.
There’s every reason to believe that you can quit smoking and stay trim. A lot of people think that gaining weight after they stop smoking is a foregone conclusion. That is, they have no control. That’s entirely false. You now understand why your body has an increased appetite (lower blood sugar levels). Plus, you have a series of action steps you can take to stay slim and healthy after you quit smoking. The rest is merely a matter of discipline and self-control. Ultimately, it’s in your hands.]]>
Cigarette smoke contains thousands of various carcinogens, toxins and other chemicals. Each time you take a puff, you introduce all of these compounds into your bloodstream. The arteries and veins throughout your body carry them (though your blood) directly to your skin. When the blood is rich in oxygen and in plentiful supply, your skin will generally look healthy. This is due to the oxygen replenishing your skin while removing waste product through the bloodstream.
Smoking reduces the blood supply to your skin. It can also cause your skin’s blood vessels to contract. When combined, a reduced blood supply and the contraction of blood vessels inhibit the amount of healthy blood available for skin regeneration and removal of waste product. Eventually, the skin begins to sustain damage from lack of oxygen and collagen.
Each time a person inhales cigarette smoke, they’re essentially consuming a cocktail of deadly compounds. These include hydrogen cyanide, cadmium, arsenic, tar and prussic acid. Many of these chemicals hit your bloodstream immediately. This has 2 effects that can cause premature aging in your skin. First, the chemicals are distributed to your skin’s blood vessels. There, they replace the oxygen that your skin requires.
Second, these compounds can begin to impede the absorption of vitamin C. Vitamin C preserves collagen, the fibrous protein that’s responsible for making your skin appear youthful. If your body is unable to absorb vitamin C, the collagen begins to deteriorate. When that happens, your skin begins to look worn and aged.
When the blood vessels throughout your skin don’t receive the blood supply they need, they begin to constrict. As a result, the blood vessels don’t receive the oxygen they need to replenish the skin’s cells. As a result, your skin begins to thin. Wrinkles emerge. Some people begin to develop a “leathery” appearance. All of these are symptoms of premature aging of the skin.
With prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke, the pores of your skin can become clogged. This can cause your skin to look discolored, unnatural and unhealthy. There can even be a distinct residue left behind. As the internal damage of nicotine dries your skin and removes moisture, the external effects of the smoke provide an almost artificially-discolored pallor.
The most effective way to treat the damage (internal and external) sustained by your skin is to quit smoking. In order for your skin to have a chance to regain a semblance of vitality, you must stop introducing the “compound cocktail” into your bloodstream. Then, use a deep-cleansing moisturizer to help remove some of the residue from the cigarette smoke. Use an additional moisturizer to hydrate your skin. If you’ve been smoking for several years, it’s likely that your skin will never regain all of its moisture and health. But, it’s never too late to begin doing everything you can to repair some of the damage.]]>
You know smoking is bad for your health. But, you may be unaware of what is actually in a cigarette. Most people can name a few well-known ingredients: tobacco, nicotine, tar. After those are mentioned, they’re at a loss to think of others. In reality, 1 cigarette contains over 4,000 chemicals. It contains 400 different toxins. That same cigarette is also packed with 43 carcinogens. You’re getting a lot for your money. When you see pictures of people who are suffering the effects of a lifelong smoking habit, these are the ingredients responsible.
Below, we’re going to take a closer look at some of these ingredients (we can’t cover them all, of course). We’ll describe the difference between toxins and carcinogens, explain the effects of nicotine and pull back the covers on the lone cigarette’s army of chemicals. Let’s get started.
Toxins are poisons. Their impact on your body can differ based upon the type of toxin. Some of them are insignificant. Others can be deadly. For example, rattlesnakes have a hemotoxin that they transmit when they bite someone. Scorpions transmit neurotoxins. So, when you learn that 1 solitary cigarette contains over 400 toxins, you’ll appreciate the damage that cigarette is causing.
Carcinogens cause cancer. These can be a variety of substances. They attack the cells, retard their metabolism and play havoc with the biology of your body. These carcinogens then leave the cells to spread uncontrollably, retarding other cells in their wake. When people die from lung cancer, that is what is happening. There are more than 43 carcinogens delivered into your bloodstream through a single cigarette.
The worst part about the thousands of chemicals, toxins and carcinogens is that they do their work slowly. It usually takes several years of smoking for these substances to do enough damage to motivate smokers to quit. But, if anything, they’re reliable. The toxins poison you. The carcinogens begin damaging your cells. The other chemicals have a variety of side effects. Most smokers know intuitively that cigarettes contain deadly compounds. But, the effects usually take so much time to “bear fruit” that they’re unmotivated to break the habit (or addiction).
As you know, nicotine is addictive. It’s the primary reason people who want to quit smoking still smoke. It’s the drug that gives smokers a “good feeling.” When you get used to having that feeling, it’s difficult to turn it off. Once it enters your body, it moves quickly. It takes seconds to reach your brain. While your brain feels euphoric, the nicotine hits your bloodstream and makes you feel calm. That’s a powerful combination. Add nicotine’s addictive nature and you’ll understand why people who know they’re killing themselves line up to do it.
Nicotine obviously isn’t the only substance to worry about. Helping it speed its way to your brain is its partner, ammonia. Tar, that black material you see being applied to streets is coating your lungs. Benzene, a known cancer-causing compound is also lurking in a cigarette. You may not voluntarily inhale carbon monoxide from a car’s exhaust pipe, but millions of people do so by smoking. Along with hydrogen cyanide, it impedes the delivery of oxygen throughout your body. As an appetizer, cigarettes also include cadmium, a compound used in batteries (also directly linked to kidney damage).
Cigarettes kill slowly. But, just as devastating, they kill silently. As people continue to puff on their cigarettes, the thousands of compounds within each one hit their bloodstream and lungs almost immediately. Then, they spend years wreaking havoc. With an army of toxins and carcinogens, the lone cigarette makes its way into your body and promises a slow, untidy end. It is the modern equivalent of a trojan horse. It’s allowed in voluntarily.
The formula used to create a cigarette borders on brilliant. The nicotine is addictive. It cleverly stimulates your brain while calming your nerves. To transport it to where it needs to go, ammonia is added to the menu. But, while these 2 compounds work their magic, thousands of others run rampant through your body to work their own. Now, you can appreciate what goes inside your body when you take a puff on that innocent-looking cigarette.]]>
People who quit smoking often experience insomnia. It’s a natural reaction to the lack of nicotine within their bodies. Like most withdrawal symptoms, insomnia is most prominent during the first 2 or 3 weeks after a smoker quits. Within a month, that person should be able to resume a normal sleeping pattern. During the first few weeks after quitting, the severity of insomnia can be relieved by reducing the amount of caffeine and alcohol. Performing some light exercise also helps. With exercise, you release endorphins into your body which is a natural stress reliever.
During the first several days after quitting smoking, a person’s blood sugar levels drop. This can result in the same symptoms that are experienced when a person’s brain is deprived of sufficient oxygen. They include increased levels of irritation, feelings of dizziness and even an inability to accurately discern time. While cigarette smoke doesn’t deliver sugar into the bloodstream, it does create a chemical reaction whereby the body produces sugar. When a smoker quits, this chemical reaction stops and blood sugar levels drop.
Gaining weight is directly related to the blood sugar levels dropping after a smoker quits. Long-time smokers have relied upon cigarettes to deliver sugar into the bloodstream within a few seconds. It’s an incredibly-efficient process. When they quit smoking, they need to rely upon food consumption to release sugar. Unfortunately, it takes about 20 minutes for sugar to be released after food has been consumed. When a person has recently quit smoking, he still feels hungry after eating. This increased appetite leads him to gorge. In the 20 minutes it takes for sugar levels to rise, he can potentially eat several times more than needed. Eventually, he gains weight.
Gaining weight is not uncommon and probably the biggest reason why people do not quit smoking. By starting an exercise program the same time you quit smoking, you can double the benefits. You will get healthier as you get fit, and you will not gain as much weight if you were not exercising.
Many people experience varying levels of depression during the first few weeks after quitting smoking. This is usually linked directly to nicotine withdrawal (as opposed to a pre-existing psychological issue). When someone stops smoking, they often have feelings of loneliness and general lack of happiness. Assuming these feelings didn’t exist prior to quitting smoking, they will eventually dissipate. Often, exercising and a change in dietary habits can help relieve the depression. Other treatments can include nicotine replacement options such as patches or even Zyban (usually prescribed for a pre-existing condition).
Withdrawal symptoms related from lack of nicotine are similar to those of any other addiction. They’re most severe in the beginning (right after quitting). Over time, they slowly grow less severe. Eventually, they disappear altogether. Some experts suggest that quitting “cold turkey” may not be the option that’s best-suited for everyone. Instead, a gradual reduction in the amount of nicotine introduced into the body makes the withdrawal symptoms less brutal and easier to cope with. In the end, the short-term pain and discomfort you’ll experience when you quit smoking is a small price to pay for your long-term health.
It depends on how tough you are. Some people can quit cold turkey just fine, while others can’t just stop no matter how much they try. You can always try a program designed specifically for quitting smoking if other methods have failed you.]]>
Smoking has been linked to osteoporosis. When a person smokes, the chemicals can impede the absorption of calcium. When this happens, the bones weaken. They’re more susceptible to fracturing. Typically, female smokers are in greater danger of developing osteoporosis than men. That said, both genders are at risk. In severe cases, bone fractures that stem from osteoporosis can lead to long-term disability and even death.
If a woman smokes while pregnant, the health and growth of the unborn fetus can be impacted. The fetus can be deprived of oxygen or critical nutrients. Exposure to the carbon monoxide contained within cigarettes can result in stillbirths or congenital problems. Because smoking limits the amount of nutrition received by the fetus, brain development during the later stages of pregnancy can be slowed or retarded. Further studies have shown that the fetus’s exposure to nicotine during pregnancy can also lead to behavioral problems as the child ages.
Smoking is known to lead to atherosclerosis. This is a condition that results from the arteries becoming “plugged up” with a fatty substance. Eventually, this fatty material impedes the flow of blood to the heart. The blood carries oxygen. When the arteries become clogged and prevent the oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart, simple physical activities become laborious. The heart experienced increased levels of strain leading to chest pains and damage to the heart muscle. Eventually, a heart attack can occur. Smoking is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease.
Your stomach naturally produces a small level of acid. When you smoke, your stomach accelerates the rate at which it creates this acid. Most of the acid created by your stomach is absorbed by the foods you consume. But, when the amount of acid increases dramatically, it can lead to severe health issues. Eventually, the increased levels can cause digestive problems.
In some cases, the excess stomach acid can lead to the development of an ulcer. The ulcer may manifest as an open sore on the duodenum. This is the shortest portion of your small intestine where much of the digestion process occurs. The excess acid can also flow from your stomach into your esophagus.
Smoking can also cause bad breath, skin irritations, yellow teeth and even bleeding in the mouth. Fortunately, many of these side effects can either be reversed or slowed. But, it requires quitting. Because of the addictive quality of nicotine, most smokers find the act of quitting either unappealing or too difficult. For those who begin developing serious side effects such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and digestive problems, quitting can literally be a matter of life and death.]]>
Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on earth. Some doctors claim it’s more addictive than heroin and cocaine. Not only does it stimulate the brain, but it enters the bloodstream and calms the nerves. It’s known as a biphasic effect. It keeps smokers coming back for more.
Many people who smoke have become accustomed to the dual effects of being more alert and simultaneously calm. That’s why people often say “they need a smoke” when they’re anxious. They develop a mental dependency on cigarettes to help them cope with problematic situations.
Smoking is a social habit. When others around you are smoking, you practically feel like you should be doing the same. In a way, it’s a bonding activity that makes it easier to talk with others who are smoking. Many people consider themselves “social smokers,” but over time they will begin to smoke cigarettes outside of social events.
As a young adult, it’s natural to look up to others. It’s also natural to mirror their actions. Sometimes, that means wearing the same style of clothing. Other times, it means smoking cigarettes. This is one of the main reasons young people start smoking. They see adults doing it. Plus, they see the celebrities they adore doing it. Mirroring these people is often the catalyst to the habit.
When a person’s peers smoke cigarettes, he is more likely to begin smoking. Though peer pressure is most common amongst young people, it also affects adults. Most people have a natural tendency to conform. If their friends smoke, they often smoke (or they find new friends). Oddly, this happens despite the knowledge of the damage that results from smoking. The fear of being labeled the “black sheep” of a group often proves strong enough to move us to sacrifice our long-term health.
Every smoker knows what smoking does to their body. When you ask one of them why they smoke cigarettes, they’ll usually respond that they like smoking. That’s both true and false. In reality, it’s like someone saying they enjoy using heroin. The fact is, because of it’s addictive nature, they can’t stand not using heroin. The same is true for smokers. They don’t actually enjoy smoking. They simply don’t like how they feel (less alert, more anxious) when they’re not smoking.
Quitting smoking is one of the most challenging goals a person can attempt. The addiction to nicotine is potent. It can deliver many of the same withdrawal symptoms as heroin. Aside from the addiction, each of the reasons described above can play an important role in a smoker’s willingness to continue smoking. For some, the decision to quit comes too late. Too much damage has already occurred within their bodies. For others, there is still time. Whether they make that fateful decision is a matter of discipline and foresight.]]>